Reynard Muldoon is a former orphan, and part of the Mysterious Benedict Society. He may be average-looking, but he is the very epitome of cleverness. He, most of the time, is the leader, planner and organizer of the group. He had many plans that failed, yet they always turn to him when they encounter riddles and puzzles. He sometimes has a tendency to doubt himself.
Reynie's name is pronounced "rain-knee". "Reynard" is pronounced "Ray-nard."
Part of the reason he is named so could be because the name "Renard" is French, with the meaning "Fox." Reynie has devised numerous plans throughout the series and is a reliable strategist, along with solving several puzzles and unraveling logic puzzles. One notable circumstance displaying this quality was in the third book The Prisoner's Dilemma, in which Reynie devises "Option C," or to break out of the room they were in before.
Reynie's personality is anything but average. He has a built-in sense of right and wrong. Reynie has an incredible sense of logic which aids him during the series, such as when he took the test. He cares deeply for his friends, though in the second book it's shown that he worries about their opinions of him, and thinks they don't trust him with knowledge of the false diamond Captain Noland gave him. He seems to doubt himself and his decisions a lot over the series, and what he fears the most is losing his friends.
Reynie was an orphan residing in Stonetown Orphanage in the beginning of The Mysterious Benedict Society. He disliked it there because he was constantly bullied for not fitting in. An example of this is when Reynie mentioned a fellow orphan who teased him when he said he found the book he was reading "enjoyable". He was adopted by Miss Perumal, his tutor, in between the first and second books, and calls her Amma instead of Miss Perumal in the 2nd and 3rd books.
His parents died of an unknown cause and he has lived in the Stonetown Orphanage since, being taught by Miss Perumal when he finished all of the curricula. He was working at a senior high school level and is ready to go to college by the end of the series.
- In The Mysterious Benedict Society, Reynie starts out as an orphan. He sees an advertisement in the newspaper giving "special opportunities" to "gifted children", and Miss Perumal, his tutor, tells him to go for it. She drops him off at the testing place, and Reynie passes it with flying colors, the only one in his group to do so.
- On his way to the next testing site, he then meets a girl named Rhonda Kazembe. She had dropped her only pencil down into the sewer, and so she asks him to help. Reynie breaks his own pencil in half and gives the sharpened end to Rhonda, planning to sharpen his own inside. Rhonda offers him the answers to cheat with in return, but he declines the opportunity. The questions to the second test are much more difficult, leaving Reynie with barely enough time to read through and answer all the questions, with the help of a pattern. He manages to do this, however, and passes the test, again the only one in his group to do so. He is told to remain in the room, and after a few minutes of waiting, another boy Reynie's age, with dark skin and spectacles, walks into the room. He introduces himself as Sticky Washington, and he and Reynie chat to pass the time. Among their conversation's topics, Sticky mentions a very short girl who had also passed the first test, but then disappeared. After that, a girl runs into the room. She carries a bucket with her, and she says her name is Kate Wetherall. Reynie and Sticky instantly come to like Kate, but then a man comes into the room and tells them to go to room 7B of the building for the third test.
- The third test, which required crossing a room without touching a certain-colored square, Reynie, Sticky, and Kate passed quite easily. They then came to the hardest test. Inside a building, there was a maze. They each had to make it through the maze- on their own. Rhonda (who apparently worked for the test designer, and was actualy a small, young woman) said that they could do it with their eyes closed. Every room in the maze is identical, and all the walls are painted black. Reynie noticed a pattern, so he went through easily. He then waited for Sticky and Kate.
- After everyone had passed, he learned that he had made it to the gifted children. He went to go meet a man named Mr. Benedict. Mr. Benedict tells them that another person should show up soon, named Constance. Constance shows up soon enough, and is the small girl Sticky saw. Later, Mr. Benedict tells the four of them that there are people who are sending out messages that just appear in your head. He tells them he wants them to stop the person. To stop the person, they have to go to a special academy, for that is where "the Messenger" lived. After a little research they find out "the Sender" is the headmaster named Ledroptha Curtain.
- The foursome ends up at the academy, two rooms apart. Mr. Benedict tells the kids that he wants them to contact him through Morse code. The four kids meet Jackson and Jillson, two big Executives. They take them to class, which they both teach. When they finally meet Mr. Curtain, an ugly shock meets them. Mr. Benedict is the long lost twin of Mr. Curtain! One works for good, and one for evil. Appalled, the children continue with their classes. The classes seem pointless, so Reynie doesn't try at all, but aces all of his tests. Sticky and Reynie soon become messengers, which are the kids that send out the messages. Sadly, Constance and Kate aren't doing well, so in a complicated riddle, Mr. Benedict tells them to cheat. Sticky gets caught, but Reynie and Kate are fine, and the test scores go up.
- Reynie and Sticky's first messenger job had arrived, and Jackson blindfolds them so they can go to the "Messenger Room." They go to a machine called "the Whisperer" and they make the messages. When Sticky was going, Reynie looked around to see how they could get in. They finally finished and scurried back to Constance and Kate.
- Constance, Kate, Reynie, and Sticky make a plan so they can try to stop Mr. Curtain. They end up poisoning the food so all the other messengers would get sick. Then, Reynie and Sticky go to their messenger job. Kate and Constance overslept, so they had to run the whole way there. The two girls ended up climbing to the tallest tower instead of taking the inside way. The two girls almost die in the attempt, but Milligan, the body guard for the foursome, swoops in to save them. It turns out that Milligan is actually Kate's father. Mr. Curtain had run away with his executives. The boat soon arrives at his house, where Sticky meets his parents, and Reynie meets Mrs. Perumal. Mrs. Perumal ends up adopting Reynie, and Mr. Benedict adopts Constance. Reynie goes home with his new mother (since Reynie does not feel comfortable calling Miss Perumal "Mother", he decides on the Tamil word "Amma", and Miss Perumal's mother as "Pati") .
The book starts off with Reynie going to see Kate Wetherall. He also sees Sticky and his parents. They drive to Mr. Benedict's house to find that he and Number Two have been kidnapped and that a pigeon has been sent to Rhonda Kazembe that she must reply within four days. Rhonda gave Constance a belated birthday present from Mr. Benedict. Sticky, Reynie, Kate and Constance start on their perilous journey to find Mr. Benedict. (They have clues from Mr.Benedict because he was planning on sending the children on a treasure hunt) .
Their first clue led them aboard the fastest ship in the world (cleverly named "the Shortcut") and then to a castle and then to Holland where in a museum they find the "Duskwort Papers." They go back to their hotel where Mr. Benedict had booked them a room and find that a receptionist has called a ten man, luckily though after no time Milligan has put the ten man out cold and they go and find Risker, the boathouse prisoner, who is Han De Reizeger's grandson. (Han De Reizeger was mentioned in the duskwort papers.) Risker changed the name Reizeger because he didn't like it.
Milligan flies them to the island mentioned in the Duskwort papers. They reside in the storm shelter for a few days. After a few days they have a conversation which is interrupted by Number Two. She has escaped Curtain and is out of her mind from lack of food. A few days after that Milligan tells the Mysterious Benedict society to keep a lookout for the ten men on the silo barn rooftop because they are probably looking for Number Two. Sticky is thinking about Constance falling and looks over the side when he sees a Ten Man looking up at him. They get caught and Milligan tells them to get into the Salamander, the vehicle Curtain's gang uses to move around. They get off the Salamander and go into the cave they think Mr. Benedict might be in.
Soon, they find Mr. Benedict and are chained up by Curtain. Mr. Benedict hypnotizes Curtain's accomplice (S.Q. Pedalian) to free them. Soon they start to make their way back, but Mr. Benedict falls asleep. They find Milligan, but are soon tracked down by Curtain and the Ten Men when Mr. Benedict wakes up. Luckily, the Shortcut comes and they go to the safety-hold, Curtain and his men come along and plant a bomb outside the safety hold door. Constance tells Kate that Ledroptha Curtain's men have planted a bomb outside the safety-hold and Kate runs and throws the bomb into the water with only a few seconds to spare before it explodes.
The book starts off with Reynie playing a game, or an exercise constructed by Rhonda with Constance, Sticky, and Kate. The game is called the Prisoner's Dilemma; they are split into pairs and locked into separate rooms, and Reynie is locked with Constance. The two teams are criminals, and they both have options. A: Remain silent about the crime. B: Testify to the other team's guilt.
The real consequences would be a prison sentence, but for the point of the exercise, their consequence is kitchen duty. Sticky had told them that there are thousands of variations, but the game is set up like: if both teams chose to remain silent, then both would receive extra kitchen duty for the rest of the day. If both teams choose to betray, then both would receive extra kitchen duty for the rest of the week. If one team chose silence while the other chose betrayal, then the traitors would be free while the others did the entire week's dished by themselves.
In their locked room, Reynie is pacing and trying to think of an answer while Constance is getting annoyed and impatient. Reynie is about to go with Option B, to betray, when Kate and Sticky crawl through the heating duct to their room. Like Reynie had guessed, Kate and Sticky were going to choose option A, and they want him and Constance to do the same. But in the end, Reynie comes up with a brilliant idea.
His idea was to pretend they were escaping. He plans that when Rhonda comes to check on them again and she is near the door, they say things like "Hurry over the window," or "Don't look down," to make Rhonda think that they are going to climb out the window while they are all actually standing behind the door. Because the window is propped up by Kate's horseshoe magnet, which is connected to her wrist by a fishing twine, Kate can pull the magnet free to slam shut the window, which Rhonda will fall for for sure. So when Rhonda is checking outside the window, they sneak out the door. This plan works exactly they wanted to, and in the end they succeeded their exercise, leaving Rhonda locked in the room laughing at their deceit.
Later that day at lunch, the children find out that it is errand day. Errand day is the day where all the adults leave the house to buy groceries, take out the trash, run errands, etc. This day happens about once three weeks and is always on a different day in case Mr. Curtain's spies figure it out. The adults dress in costumes and disguises, and the children are always left behind. After lunch when the adults have left, the children go out to the yard to play.
On the way out, the guard Ms. Plugg couldn't remember Sticky's name, so she muttered to herself a way to remember his name: Sticky always fiddles with his glasses, which goes to fiddlesticks, then Sticky. Sticky hears this, and feeling self conscious, he makes a goal to not fiddle with his spectacles anymore.
Outside, Reynie points out that a guard that they dislike, Mr. Bane, isn't there. Constance says that Mr. Bane is never on duty during errand day, which causes the children to get suspicious. Kate calls down Madge and does a few tricks with her; the children and Ms. Plugg are amazed.
The Mysterious Benedict Society: "Is this what family is like: the feeling that everyone’s connected, that with one piece missing, the whole thing’s broken?"Edit
- Reynie is the only member of the Society with brown hair.
- He is the only one who knows Kate's secret (she practiced regurgitating).
- Reynie is the only person ever to have solved the chess riddle.